New York Yankees pitcher Clarke Schmidt was mostly employed as a reliever last season.
And he had a fine performance: in 57.2 frames, he had a 3.12 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
He wasn’t utterly dominant, but was better than the average.
Circumstances forced him into the starting rotation this time around, though: after all, he was brought up as a starter and drafted in the first round like one.
He hasn’t always been successful in the role in the past, but he hasn’t gotten an extended look either.
Now is his time to shine.
With injuries to Frankie Montas, Carlos Rodon, and Luis Severino, and the Yanks’ current pitching design, Schmidt not only has a rotation spot in the bag already, but he will start the second game of the year.
“Clarke Schmidt entered camp hoping to lock up a rotation spot, now he’s on track to start Game 2 in the Bronx behind Gerrit Cole. ‘It’s an unbelievable opportunity,’ Schmidt tells @BryanHoch,” YES Network tweeted.
Clarke Schmidt entered camp hoping to lock up a rotation spot, now he's on track to start Game 2 in the Bronx behind Gerrit Cole.
"It's an unbelievable opportunity," Schmidt tells @BryanHoch. pic.twitter.com/PLIHpr3pfZ
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 27, 2023
It is an unbelievable opportunity, indeed.
Criticized for his lack of a good fastball, Schmidt spent lots of hours in the “lab” working on a cutter.
He showed it off this spring and the pitch turned heads.
His spring ERA was a tad high at 5.03, but with a 4/25 BB/K ratio in 19.2 innings, he is looking much, much better than his ERA indicates.
This could very well be Schmidt’s breakout season if he can keep hitters honest with his new cutter.
He has excellent secondaries, but the lack of an effective “hard” weapon (i.e., a fastball) limited him for years.NEXT: Aaron Judge Is Making Another Attempt At History